On November 16, 2010, falconry was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The definition of falconry is the taking of quarry in its natural habitat with a bird of prey, along with their training and care. The types of raptors most commonly used include hawks, falcons, and eagles.
Falconry has been practiced for thousands of years, spreading through many cultures across the world. Initially, it was a hunting technique used as a means to obtain game for food. Through the centuries it evolved to also hold important political and social significance. In more modern times, falconry is practiced as a recreational sport and a way to connect more deeply with the natural world. Though diversity exists in falconry dependent upon the culture, the essence of the art remains the same throughout time, a common thread woven through history across the world.
From falconry, we have seen other practices evolve, including raptor rehabilitation and abatement. Also, falconry education has emerged in many countries, allowing access for the public at large to learn more about raptors, the ancient art of falconry, and the importance of conservation, both of birds of prey and the natural habitats that support their survival. Sky Falconry holds a special, educational permit from USFW that allows us to legally hold our hands-on, interactive falconry programs with the public. In the United States, falconry is one of the most highly regulated hunting sports since all raptor species in North America are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Today, and every day, we celebrate the importance of falconry and it’s reverberating significance from deep in the past to present day.